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Hiking in Slovenia

From the beginning of the karst meadows to Tumova koča you need a bare 15 minutes. In spring and summer these meadows are a veritable treasury of flowers, but in autumn they look considerably impoverished (especially because the floral abundance at the beginning of the path has really spoilt us); you will only find partly dried carline thistles and gentians.

However, the disappointment over the flowers will be more than compensated for by the marvellous views – in front of the mountain hut the panorama opens up towards the south and west, while other parts of Slovenia are seen from the summit of Slavnik. Trnovski gozd with Nanos is also well seen and in really fine weather even the Slovene Alps.

After a short rest at Tumova koča allow yourself a good half-hour to make for the nearby summit of Grmada, from where you will have a still more beautiful view of the Slovene littoral (from Slavnik this is hidden precisely behind Grmada), but you can of course return to Podgorje – by the easier or the steep path.

View toward the north (Trnovski gozd, Nanos and Vremščica)

Karst hills and meadows east of Slavnik

A view of Grmada from
the top of Slavnik

The tower on Grmada

The view of the Slovene
littoral from Grmada

Zealous mountaineers will aim for Grmada by the small path which leads straight over the top of Cigan (a slightly lower eminence between Slavnik and Grmada), those who conserve their energies will probably choose the slightly longer route along the macadam road towards Kozina. In both cases, you will end up at a junction where first the way to Hrpelje and then the way to Prešnica branch off, and finally the steep path to Grmada as well.

On top of Grmada you will find an interesting »tower«, which can be seen already from Slavnik. The local people say it was placed here after the Second World War as a lookout-point for forest fires, since Grmada offers the finest view of the surroundings, as you will see for yourself when you come panting to the top.

After your stop on Grmada you head back towards the summit of Slavnik and try to find the path by which you will return to Podgorje.

Translated by Margaret Davis
© www.zaplana.net and Margaret Davis, 2007

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